Sunday, August 9, 2009

More from SCBWI-LA

To say that my brain is in information overload would be an understatement. Fortunately, for my birthday last week, my husband gave me an iPod touch. The day before the conference I downloaded software that allows me to record each session then save it to my computer at night. These aren't like radio quality recordings, but they will allow me to listen to all of this wonderful advice over and over again, and to hear some inspiration when I need it, too. And that's good news for my weary brain.

Of course, it isn't all work! Here are some pics from the Blue Ball on Saturday night:

The geese are (l to r) Greg Trine, Tina Nicols Coury, Yuki Yoshino
Thalia Chaltas and Gwen Dandridge (with glowing electric blue wings)
And the Blue Man group, which I think were actually all women =)

And here are a few more nuggets from the conference:

From author Holly Black:

(doesn't she have a great smile?!)

Fantasy is the language of metaphor. It has real things to say about us and about our world.

Details make it rooted, make readers believe that it's a place they have been.

We're all writing the stories we wanted someone else to write for us. We all build on each other.

From editor Krista Marino:
Every publisher wants their authors to be blogging. (YES!!!)

Target editors or junior editors who are building their lists. They are more likely to have the time to help nurture projects they love.

Take luck out of the equation and do everything you can.

Writing and revising is a collaboration. Find an editor that gets your project. It needs to be a partnership so you need to be sure they have the same vision as you for the book.

Take things from every part of your life and put it in your fiction.

Editor Elizabeth Law
gave a fabulous speech about how publishing is changing. She is incredibly funny and an excellent speaker. I was surprised to hear that her company, Egmont, donates all of their profits to children's charities. Isn't that cool?

She also had this question for writers who are afraid to submit or who come up with numerous excuses for not submitting: "I just turned 49 and I'm overweight, but if I can go on a blind date in New York, why can't you send in your manuscript?"

Becky Levine challenged me to talk to one person I didn't already know and I did that. As a result I met Cindy, Rachel and Paige, all fabulous writers with excellent taste in dinner and friends =), and Marietta Zucker, an agent with Nancy Gallt (who I'll be interviewing here on the blog in the next few weeks). So thanks Becky!

After all, hanging out on the lobby sofa talking to an agent with my new BFFs is really a fabulous way to wrap up the day, don't you think?


Rena Jones said...

Thanks for posting some of what you learned at the conference, Sherrie. I've enjoyed hearing about everyone's experiences.

BJW said...

This is really cool, thanks for giving us heaping helpings of the conference. Love it.

Myra McEntire said...

SO glad you're having fun and learning lots! Conferences are so encouraging. ;)

Corey Schwartz said...

Yes! It definitely sounds like you are having a fabulous experience! (and what a great gift from your husband!)

PJ Hoover said...

It ALL sounds so wonderful, Sherrie! And Holly's smile is a perfect match for your gorgeous one!

So glad you had a blast!

Maggie said...

I think information overload is the best possible result of attending this conference. It means you took advantage of every single opportunity. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing some of the highlights.

Kelly Polark said...

Thanks again for the info! What a fabulous weekend!!

lisa and laura said...

So fun! Sounds like an amazing conference. I really hope that we'll be able to go next year!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so glad you took me up on that challenge! And I LOVE Elizabeth's tip. Great pic of you and Holly Black!

Sarah Laurenson said...

The blue man with the sling is Claudia Harrington (an SCBWI-LA RA). Not sure who her posse was this year. In the past, she's roped in her family.

The SCBWI conference blog posted live during the weekend. Lots of good notes there. too. I'm sure the tireless SCBWI blogging team wouldn't mind a note or two of thanks for their hard work.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Yes, the Blue Man group was all women! Claudia Harrington and her daughters Every year, they come up with crazy costumes!

I didn't get to go, so I'm so thankful for your recap and pictures. Glad you had fun and made new BFFs! : )

Beth Kephart said...


Are you back home? Did you meet my friend, Libby? And how very very cool is it that you heard the impeccable Elizabeth Law speak.

I want to hear so much more. I'm beyond delighted that my historical novel will be in Egmont's good hands next fall.

Casey Something said...

Love these posts on the conference! Thanks for sharing. I've so enjoyed the tweets and live blogs from the SCBWI team blog, and now I get to read more about the experience through my friends' blogs! Woot!

Veri word: luckee (appropriate!)

Tana said...

Yay for blogging! See? I'm doing something right. I've really enjoyed your conference posts!

Barrie said...

I can't believe I'm back home, and all the SCBWI hoopla is over. Great meeting you!

Vivian Mahoney said...

So glad you had fun. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your posts.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Sounds like a blast. Networking is SO important! And nothing beats a great writer's conference. (Well, I suppose that's not completely true, but we'll leave it at that.) I'm following you now. Sorry it took me so long...

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

miss you already! wished I saw you to say goodbye :)

Anonymous said...

Yay! New BFFs!!!! I know Sherrie! I know Sherrie! (this is Rachel, btw) ;)

Ah, memories... I feel like I'm in a fog. Am I home? Am I at scbwi? Where am I? I can barely think I'm so tired.

That sure was an adventure, wasn't it? Now I just need to come down off the high.


1) I LOVE Thalia Chaltas ... and I made her sign my book in the bathroom. Stalky fan-girl, I know, but she was really cool about it.

2) Holly Black is made of awesome sauce. And she does have a beautiful smile.

3) I wish I could do it all over again next week. Okay, give me 2 weeks to recover from my red eye flight out and my lack of sleep last night. :)

Kelly H-Y said...

WOW ... thank you so much for sharing all of this fabulous information. Sounds like a GREAT time ... and so informative! So cool that Egmont donates profits to children's charities ... WOW!

cindy said...

holly does have a great smile but yours is pretty darned awesome, too, sherrie! so glad we had the chance to talk a few times at the conference! i'm still recovering!

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